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Buster

FOCUS Mk2 ROAD NOISE

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Seasons greetings to the forum. I have a 2007 Mk2 Focus 2.0L Ghia, petrol / manual. Love the car but the road noise in the cabin is horrendous. It originally had Falkens on the front and Conti P6 on the rear, the

noise was bad and tyres pretty much shot. The car went in for new wheel bearings all round, new front lower control arm bushes, new front shocks and tracking re-set. After much research on line I fitted four new

Yokohama Advan Decibel V551 tyres which the manufacturers claim is a "Silent" tyre. After all this hassle and cost, the road noise is just as bad, if not worse !  I know its the tyres because they do run silent over

fresh smooth tarmac which is very rare in the UK !

 

I have been in the motor trade all my life (20 years on the tools & 22 in management) and I know my way around a motor car but I am struggling to find a solution to cure the racket from the tyres. The car just

passed its MOT so I am confident there is nothing wrong with the car.  

 

Tony, can you recommend a tyre to cure this problem ? I would be happy to pay you a visit to have them fitted and have the geometry and alignment done while I am there. Yokohama UK are offering me a refund

if I can find an alternative and return their Advans to them.

 

I read your article in Autocar magazine so I hope you can help !  I would like to hear from any forum members with similar experiences.

 

Cheers. Buster.

 

 

 

 

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Hello and welcome to the forum...

 

I'm very aware of the problem you encountered and many times a wheel bearing is blamed only to find the noise persists.

 

From my side of the fence the tyre condition is known as "heel and toe", Online "sawtooth" seems to fit the public's audible translation.

 

Here is a high end tyre that holds the condition.

 

post-2-0-62527400-1514568508.jpg

 

post-2-0-39547900-1514568548.jpg

 

From this you can see the tread has an undulating patten of wear that seems to target a particular size of tread block. The reason is the Toe angle which generates a lateral force/ scrub effect. The condition hits mainly the rear of FWD cars.

 

Most times a Toe correction at the opposite side of the wear patten including the use of the OEM tolerance normally works just fine.

 

As for the harmonics it's a sensitive recommendation because there are so many variables to consider namely the road surface and the ultimate mechanical grip. I would suggest German approved fitment like Continental tyres since these are approved for the likes of Merc and BMW.

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Hi Toni, thanks for the swift reply.  I note what you say about "heel & toe"  I am familiar with this. I had the car up on stands last week to change the oil. I had a good close

look at the tyres and they look perfect, no unusual wear is apparent.  Points to consider;

 

1/ When I drove away after having the four new Yoko's fitted, the noise was still there, no improvement at all on brand new tyres.

 

2/ I have experimented with tyre pressure's, I am running at 30 PSI as recommended by Ford. I tried a few pounds plus and minus using a good digital gauge and foot pump.

    There was no improvement during a quick test after each adjustment.

 

3/ Your comment about toe angle on the rear of FWD cars is interesting, it was noted that the tread on the old Conti P6 on the OSR was what I call "cupping" quite clear to see

    and feel. This would suggest that my rear alignment is out ?

 

4/ I was sure victory would be mine when I fitted these, note the claims for silence by Yokohama here.

 

     http://www.y-yokohama.com/global/product/tire/tires/passenger/advan_db/

 

I think I need to come and see you and get all the alignments checked. I will bring the old tyres for you to see. If we cant cure the problem I will flog it and get a Lexus !

 

Chatting with a mate yesterday that used to be a service manager at a local Ford dealership, he told me that the first Kuga's had a road noise problem and Ford fixed it

by fitting Bridgestones, are you aware of this ?

 

Cheers and happy new year. Buster.

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Fitting a different tyre may work initially but it only masks the real issue. Some manufactures may change the make of tyre, some may change the chassis settings and some, well one actually did a real dirty by changing the geometry range to ensure what was measured outside of the OEM setting fell within the OEM settings!

 

Heel and toe, sawtooth, cupping has many names but the condition remains the same. Back to your points...

 

1: The noise may remain if the toe angle is still wrong.

2: I second your pressure testing since those offered by Ford are only a suggestion.

3: Over the years tyre and car manufactures have been locked in the blame game. Tyres blame the cars rear suspension during transition allowing the tyre to "patter"? Car blames the tread configuration and compound? I blame the lateral scrub due to the toe.

4: Notice how Yockohama try and sell tread configuration as a solution?

 

In addition the Yoko tread is not far distant from a bias-ply tyre popular in the US.

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So Tony, is the cure to set the rear toe to more toe in to compensate for the wear pattern and the effect, considering that they are not the driving wheels? This is assuming that the camber is not extreme of course

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It depends on where the wear is and how severe, in addition the actual toe reading forms the base for correction and since this is a variable there's no one setting fits all solution, if there was i would sell it :smile_anim:

 

Oddly enough camber albeit a powerful angle has no part in this condition, let's say it's line of sight is wrong.

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Tony, thanks for the quick reply's and input, nice to know that, finally, I am dealing with someone who clearly knows his stuff.

What you say about lateral scrub makes perfect sense to me.

 

I will book an appointment with you soon to get my front and rear alignment / geometry checked. If the noise is still there

after and I am 100% confident that there is nothing wrong with the car, I will start making a fuss about it with Yokohama UK

and the Advertising Standards Authority.

 

Their advertising clearly claims the Advan Decibel is a "Silent" tyre, if my car is OK then clearly the tyre is not what they claim.

 

Perhaps their advertising should state ....  "The power of silence - but only on 1% of UK roads"  !! biggrin.png  

 

Back in my old days in the trade, I dont remember road noise being an issue, but then we all thought that a 70 profile tyre was very low !

To my way of thinking, if you keep reducing the amount of rubber between the rim and the road, cushioning is destroyed and excessive

noise becomes a real problem. I wish car manufacturers would get their heads around the fact that we are not all boy racers and dont care

too much about trendy looks and race track type handling. Save that for the "Sport" version of the model range and give us real peace and

quiet with a comfortable ride with the other models in the range keeping everybody happy. Not all of us can afford a Merc, BMW or Lexus for

a nice ride.  Manufacturers shoving 50 / 55 profile tyres on an ordinary family run around like my Focus is just plain ridiculous.

 

If a full geometry check doesn't fix the problem, I am tempted to let Yokohama have their tyres back for a refund and go from 16" rims to 15" 

and shove 195/70/15 tyres on. Narrower tyre = less rubber on the road, higher sidewall = more cushioning = less noise, what do you think ?

 

I am not concerned with grip, wear or cost, I just want a quiet tyre  ..... rant over !

 

Will call you for an appointment soon.

 

Thanks again. Buster.

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That article is deceptive because it doesn't say what size the tyres are or the load rating which is vital to compare the results...

 

Don't be deceived by the harmonic claims without also factoring in the cabins sound dampening quality's and even this is assuming all the cars tested had perfect chassis settings? 

 

Tread contact is a pinch, push and repetition affair. Repetition is a harmonic constant so the way to brake this constant is to make the tread contact non-consistent which is done by making the tread blocks indifferent in size.

 

Tyre labelling is an utter joke. Yes it says various claims about life expediency, braking performance and db level but the test conditions fall way outside real world conditions... Put it this way if i was to fit an 18" run flat tyre on my 18" Fiesta wheels would the labelling claims still apply... Surly they do because the labels don't say they will only work on one target car? Point to note is the Run Flat Tyre is destine for BMW but my point remains.

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Tony, note my comments in post  #7 above. I would like to hear what you think about fitting smaller / narrower tyres on my trusty Focus ?

 

Have you come across the  Yokohama Advan Decibel  before and what do you make of them ? Have you had any success with them to cure road

noise on other cars ?

 

I will be coming to see you. Definitely for a full geometry check and possibly four new tyres. In the meantime, as and when you get time, would you kindly

give some serious thought on what specific tyre you would recommend for me for a quiet ride ?

 

The standard size for my car is 205/55/16.  My new Yoko's are 205/60/16.

 

I'm thinking 195/70/16 might be the way to go but I will yield to your expertise.

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Try not to be fooled by the tyres measured width because the actual contact patch is a fraction of this Example: A 205mm width tyres actual contact patch is around 60mm. The rest of the width is for the front tyres angular migration on lock and transitional grip during yaw.

 

I have no right or qualification to say conclusively what tyre is better than another without actually testing them "real world" myself. It's for this reason i rely on knowledge and opinions from sites like this> http://www.tyrereviews.co.uk/ I know the owner of this site who also owns http://lovetyres.com/ and i can honestly say he knows very little about tyres deep down but boy his sites are superb due to the impartial content.

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Thanks Tony.  With all your sound knowledge and experience in the business I was hoping you

might have had customer feedback over the years about road noise and a certain brand or type 

has stood out generally as a favorite choice for a quiet tyre ?

 

Found this on the Kumho web site. Certainly backs up what you say about harmonics ! 

Maybe I should contact them with my story and see if they can recommend a Kumho

tyre solution ?

 

 

"Tread Patterns: Quiet Tyres"

"Kumho Tyre develop tread designs that benefit different vehicles. When a customer comes in with a certain car, we can match their needs  with a   tread.

If you had a tyre tread that had  exactly the same shape for each tread block  it would be like a tractor going down the road, it would make a terrible noise. For people who want a quiet tyre we have a tread designs  that ensure   it is quiet on the road and offers a smoother drive. It’s about the harmonics - How they space the tread blocks  and the size of these blocks determines the amount of sound produced while driving. If you look at the shoulder of the tyre you will see that each of the blocks is a different size and they all make a different sound as they hit the road. The quiter  tyres are designed so that those different sounds actually cancel each other out".

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Main issue is the manufacturer gives sufficient information to the consumer so any complaint is in their opinion is unfounded. On the plus side i drove my Lotus Esprit on Kumho and they where great, it was me that run out of skill

 

post-2-0-28328700-1514915245.jpg

 

 

 

 

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Tony, I hear what you say but I need an educated answer. I will be coming to see you for geometry check and four new tyres, what are you going to put on for me

to tackle this noise problem ? I am in no rush, if you need time to do research thats fine.

 

I'm curious about the Kumho comment above about tyres designed so that "different sounds actually cancel each other out"

 

Very skeptical about tyre manufacturers claims after my disappointing experience with Yokohama Advans.

 

Fell free to e-mail me if you are more comfortable making tyre type recommendations in private.

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Tyre choice is a very personal thing and Tony can't put himself in that position of saying use this specific tyre as you might end up hating it. I have been recommended tyres before or bought them after reading rave reviews only to be very disappointed by them.

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I agree with you Rich tyres are a very personal thing but some are known to be better than others. Asymmetrical seem to perform well but expensive.

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I don't really get on with asymmetrical tyres, but some are better than others. My tyre pattern of choice is directional.

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The Goodyear F1 directional tyre suffered chronic rear heel and toe wear but had superb grip. I also think this is why the F1 stopped production and was replaced with the asym.

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Hi Tony. I will be traveling from Cardiff to Twickenham tomorrow for the Rugby and coming via your shop. I just spoke to Keith and booked my Focus in for tomorrow Friday 9th for alignment.

 

Will be there around 3pm. Can you be around to look at my tyres and chat about this noise problem ?

 

Cheers. Tim Brown.

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No problem. In fact it would help to see the current tyres condition.

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Hi Tony.

 

Thanks for fitting me in so quickly, great service and nice to meet you.

 

There is an improvement with the road noise and the car is more stable on the motorway, however, there is still unaceptable

noise from the tyres, now I am confident the car is 100% I can move forward with my case against the tyre manufacturer.

 

Will be back with a BMW E39 soon for full alignment check.

 

Cheers. Tim.

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Your welcome Tim, shame we never reduced/ stopped the noise but at least now you know what it's not..... Reads like you have made up your mind with the BMW. That would definitely need a check since they are so adjustable... Sometimes you need to spend a little to save a lot.

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Hi Tony. I'm back !  I got rid of the Focus, never did cure the road noise from the tyres. I now have a 2003 BMW E39. 525i. SE.

Lovely car, nice ride too !

I will be coming to see you soon for four new tyres and a full alignment check. Can you quote me on four of the quietest tyres

you can recommend  in 225 / 55 / 16 or 225 / 60 / 16 flavour ?

Cheers. Tim.

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Hi Tim and welcome back

Quite a transition from the Focus to the BMW....Nice move B)... I'll get some prices Monday but understand we are all held hostage to the labelled DB levels but we have a little knowledge beyond this.

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Hi Tony. Going for plan B and sticking with the original 17 in rims. I decided on the Avon ZV7 in 225/55/17 flavour. Very good reviews on comfort and quiet ride. Can you quote me for four new ones and I will have the F & R alignment checked while I am there.

Cheers. Tim.

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